Motorola buys Symbol for$3.9 billion

We reported yesterday that Motorola was eyeing wireless enterprise technology maker Symbol Technologies as an acquisition target, and, one day later, it's official: The deal is worth a cool $3.9 billion, since Motorola has agreed to pay $15 cash for each of Symbol's outstanding shares. Symbol's offerings include a range of devices for the mobile enterprise like handheld computers, bar code scanners, RFID tech and WiFi, which are widely used by warehouse workers, delivery services and large retail outlets. The company has about 5,200 employees and reported $32.2 million in earnings last year as well as sales reaching $1.77 billion. Symbol will become a Motorola subsidiary and will continue to operate from its headquarters in Holtsville, N.Y.

Symbol has enjoyed a healthy market share, but the company has also faced troubles: In 2004 the SEC fined Symbol $37 million for fraudulent accounting practices and 11 execs were charged with securities fraud, including the CEO who subsequently fled the U.S. Many in the industry also claim the company did a poor job in exercising its market clout and leveraging its leadership position, leading it to fall by the wayside as others in the space rushed past. All in all, the Motorola acquisition is a good one for Symbol.

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